Internet of Things Could Make Everyone Both ‘Unwitting Predator and Unsuspecting Prey’

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William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center

The connected ecosystem of smart devices has become a fertile ground for hackers, and both government and industry should think of new, better ways to protect themselves, according to the federal government’s head of national counterintelligence.

In a commentary on FederalNewsRadio,com Director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center William Evanina highlighted the current cyberthreats Americans face. He credits IoT and other technological advancements to creating and enhancing vulnerabilities in every facet of Americans’ daily lives.

“Our homes are no longer private spaces,” he wrote. “Manufacturers are now discontinuing production of electronic devices that lack integrated smart technology, and some are preventing us from disabling the smart technology within smart devices. And IoT features are appearing in unexpected places, such as light bulbs.”

Evanina spent considerable time analyzing and addressing the evolving threats to U.S. national and economic security. His advice on the subject is that “we must use all available tools and safe practices to avoid identity theft or financial loss.”

As these threats become more common, the U.S. should consider new ways of fighting them. One solution is a “hack back” approach, where private companies employ offensive countermeasures against cyber crooks. Other solutions include creating safeguards and providing cyber counteroffensive lessons.

“Every American citizen, government agency and commercial or private business that has internet-connected devices and networks is a target, and can become both an unwitting predator and unsuspecting prey,” Evanina wrote.

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